Whitehead Internship Reflection

September 27, 2022 | Claude Wang, Summer Healthcare Quality Improvement Intern

This summer, I was able to join the Health Care Improvement Foundation for 8 weeks as an intern through the Whitehead Internship program. As someone who comes from a life sciences and engineering background, I want to work in a field where I can utilize the analytical and problem-solving skills I have developed, while also working directly with people to create an impact. Interning at the Health Care Improvement Foundation creates the perfect opportunity for me to hone these skills in a professional setting while creating tangible impact with the team. 

During this internship, I was able to work on three projects within the Partnership for Patient Care program. There are multiple focuses within this program, and I was able to work on the Health Equity Data Strategy, the Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Awards, as well as supporting the planning for the annual PPC Leadership Summit. Although I was staffed primarily on the PPC program, I also joined the ARC (Anti-Racism Collaborative), The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania Racial Health Equity Learning Action Network (HAP RHELAN), as well as marketing meetings. As someone interested in project management work, I was impressed by the passion and the careful planning involved in the facilitation of these initiatives. These meetings with the HCIF team and the external stakeholders definitely demonstrates the nature of HCIF’s work: fostering collaborations and strengthening connections among stakeholders to improve health care quality and safety.

Apart from the fascinating work the team is doing, what also really stood out to me is the supportive and collegial culture of HCIF. Throughout my internship, I have received so much support and care from everyone, and they genuinely took an interest in my development and future career path. I can say with confidence that HCIF values everyone’s opinions on the team, and takes everyone’s suggestions into consideration. During the internal meetings, I was able to contribute to the anti-racism statement for HCIF, advice for COVID concerns for the in person HCIF events and also advocate for the inclusion of LGBTQ resources for our projects. I am extremely grateful to be in such an inclusive environment at an early stage of my professional life. 

Overall, being at HCIF this summer has brought me closer to the inner workings of the health care field and exposed me to how different stakeholders collaborate to constantly improve care quality for the patients. I felt that I was contributing to a meaningful cause, and I was extremely fortunate to be around a group of people who are willing to mentor and inspire. I really enjoyed this internship experience and would like to thank CCPA, the Whitehead Internship Program, Liz Owens, and the rest of the HCIF team for making this possible. 


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